Brief History, and What is New
In all of my looking around I never seen anything about the history of the treatment for T1D. For anyone interested, a brief history of insulin. Before the 1920’s if you had a T1D you pretty much did not have a chance to live very long. One of the first treatment was feeding pancreas to patients. The first successful insulin used in humans was from dogs. Later insulin came from stockyards, from slaughtered cows and pigs. Because of allergic reactions many people could not use this insulin. It was still difficult to manufacture in large amounts. It was not until 1978, that synthetic insulin was made using bacteria or yeast and human DNA, called recombinant DNA insulin. It was not until 1980 that this new treatment was widely available and it did not cause allergic reactions.
We live in amazing times. Glucose meters have gone for costing over $600 to many companies giving them to people for free (I got a free one a couple years ago, a OneTouch mini), to being able to communicate to insulin pumps. Insulin pumps have gone from the size of bricks, and notoriously inaccurate, to the size of cell phones and incredibly accurate delivering insulin.
While I pray for a cure, being a hopeless techno-geek, I look forward to all the new developments that come along to make managing this until a cure is discovered. I haven’t got a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) yet, I look forward to exploring that part. Even if it means another needle stick every few days. 🙂 I also look forward to what is called Artificial Pancreas. My understanding is AP is like a pump, but will be all self contained with insulin and glucagon* reservoirs, with a CGM will be able to auto deliver of both.
I encourage all reading this, with T1D, to explore all the possibilities to help you manage better, of course with your doctors guidance.
I know I didn’t put too many specifics in this post, I don’t want to bore people too much. I just wanted to point out there is hope, looking at this, in less than 100 years, T1D’s (and all with diabetes) went from no hope of survival, and certain painful death, to living long and productive lives. If you are interested, Juvenile-diabetes-everyday has what I think is a good history of diabetes section.
Feel free to comment, and have a good day
Star Date: 2456154.421876
*Glucagon is a hormone that tells the liver to release stored glucose, when there is not enough sugar in the blood.